Friday Night Soother: Cougar cubs!

Friday Night Soother: Cougar cubs!

by digby

Jeff Sikich crawled into dense shrub in a streambed in a remote part of the Santa Monica Mountains in early August. There, hidden in the rustling shrubs, were four blue-eyed babies — a quartet of mountain lion kittens.

The tiny cats tried to make a run for it, but they didn’t get far.

“They’ll hiss. They try to move and bite,” said Sikich, who scooped up the kits while Mom was away. At 3 ½ weeks old, their tiny teeth couldn’t do much damage to the researchers.

The babies are a pleasant discovery for the team, which is studying mountain lion behavior in an increasingly urbanized environment. It means the large cats are continuing to mate successfully, giving the local species a greater chance at survival, Sikich said.

The problem with these cats is inbreeding because the freeways, especially the 101, are blocking their habitat.

Advocates led by the National Wildlife Federation are raising money for a wildlife overpass on the 101 that would help mountain lions and other animals cross the busy highway safely. The bridge could be completed by 2022

This is one of my personal charities. If you feel like giving some cash to help these beautiful wild cats survive in the Santa Monica Mountains, you can do it here.